JRS VOLUME #17; ISSUE #35
Burning Man Update: The Jack Rabbit Speaks
Volume 17, Issue #35 HEALTH & SAFETY
August 7, 2013
HEALTH AND SAFETY:
+ HEALTH PERMITS ARE REQUIRED
+ WE'RE IN BED WITH B.E.D.
+ ART WITH FRICKIN' LASERS
+ WEATHER OR NOT IT RAINS
+ SENDING AND RECEIVING EMERGENCY MESSAGES: FAQ
+ GET SHOWERED WITH... WHAT?!? EWWWW, GROSS.
+ YOU'RE SICK OR HURT AT BURNING MAN, NOW WHAT?
+ DID YOU KNOW IT COSTS $25,000 IF YOU GET TRANSPORTED OFF PLAYA VIA HELICOPTER?!?
+ RANTING AND RAILING ABOUT STRUCTURAL SAFETY
+ BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL AT THE MAN BURN: GET HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT
+ CARRY YOUR ID ON PLAYA
+ YOU REMEMBERED A SPARE KEY, RIGHT?
+ STRANDED AT A RENO HOSPITAL WITH NOTHING BUT A BACKLESS GOWN?
+ LOOKING FOR SOMEONE MISSING ON PLAYA?
+ FREQUENCY COORDINATION: ARE YOU USING TWO-WAY RADIOS ON THE PLAYA?
+ "911" SERVICE IN BLACK ROCK CITY, NOW WITH ART SUPPORT!
+ MORE QUESTIONS?
+ NOW TWEET THIS
+ BLACK ROCK RANGERS
+ THE FAMILY UNIFICATION NETWORK
CONNECT WITH BURNING MAN:
+ Burning Man on your favorite social networks
OK, maybe we're getting a little dramatic. But not really ... BECAUSE IT'S TRUE. So listen up, folks.
In the spirit of Radical Self-Reliance, Burning Man provides the essential safety infrastructure to take care of our citizens, but ultimately the responsibility for your personal health and safety falls to YOU.
In this JRS, we've got everything you need to know about taking care of yourself and what services are available, should the need arise. Plus some other interesting, important (and even esoteric!) safety information.
Thanks to Emergency Services Department overlord Joseph Pred (he hates when we do this) for pulling together this invaluable edition of the JRS.
The Man burns in 24 days! Whoaaaaaa.
HEALTH PERMITS ARE REQUIRED
The Nevada State Health Division (NSHD) requires camps preparing food to apply for a permit and allow an on playa kitchen inspection. You must apply for, and be permitted as, a Temporary Food Establishment by the NSHD if:
* You wish to share, cook or serve food or non-alcoholic beverages to the general Burning Man population (gifting food).
* You will be cooking or serving food to groups of more than 125 FELLOW CAMPERS of your theme camp on a consistent basis.
Check out the blog post for more details:
WE'RE IN BED WITH B.E.D.
The Bureau of Erotic Discourse (B.E.D.) was formed back in 2005 as a grassroots community group to raise awareness and educate participants about sexual assault, safety and sex positive communication on playa. Since then this committed group of participants have nurtured B.E.D. into a multifaceted effort that promotes positive change in the Burning Man community using posters, workshops, outreach and dialog on consent, sex and sexual assault prevention. We strongly encourage all theme camps to participate in their Theme Camp Challenge:
In order to increase B.E.D.'s outreach to the community, Burning Man's Emergency Services Department (ESD) Mental Health Branch, which handles sexual assault and domestic violence cases on playa in conjunction with Law Enforcement, has created a collaborative partnership with B.E.D. This partnership gives vital support to B.E.D. that will allow them to focus on educating the community.
A special shout out to GiGi, Littlewing, Ludo, Dr. Placebo and Mary for being the true champions of this successful effort in our community!
Learn more about B.E.D. online at http://bureauoferoticdiscourse.org/
ART WITH FRICKIN' LASERS
Lasers are by no means toys. They can cause blindness, fires and other problems if set up improperly or if the incorrect equipment is used. Remember to install and use lasers in such a way that they avoid eye level as the beam can temporarily or permanently blind people.
***New for 2013: All laser projects on playa that use Class 3B or Class 4 lasers need to be operated by a laser professional that has the appropriate training, insurance and experience to safely manage the laser installation. Since most laser projects on playa use lesser classes of laser this won't affect many projects. Thankfully, all the projects who reported having high powered lasers already met this new guideline as part of their design and we appreciate those who were proactive in safely managing their lasers. If you're not sure about laser classes, check out:
If you are going to have a laser set up on playa and no one in your camp is a laser professional consider these tips:
* Use the lowest class laser and use it at the lowest power setting to reasonably accomplish your desired effect.
* Treat laser operations as a serious safety matter.
* Ensure all operators are sober.
* Designate someone to monitor the laser to make sure your lasers are being operated safely.
* If your laser operates automatically or without an operator, have someone monitor the system so they can shut it down if necessary.
WEATHER OR NOT IT RAINS
Rain storms, while much less common than dust storms, do happen. Here are some wet weather tips to remember:
* Listen to BMIR 94.5 FM for updates and information.
* Cover and secure anything electrical.
* Like with dust storms, check your structures and the art in your camp to be sure it will be safe in the wind and rain.
* Donít drive on wet playa, your vehicle is likely to get stuck.
SENDING AND RECEIVING EMERGENCY MESSAGES: FAQ
Q: Where should I go to check for emergency messages that might be waiting for me?
A: The only place on-playa that serves as a central distribution point for emergency messages is Playa Info in Center Camp.
Q: What if friends or family at home need to reach me for an emergency?
A: Given the nature of the event, finding a participant on the playa can be quite challenging. Cell phones really don't work, most of you don't carry satellite phones and there is limited Internet access. Add to that the fact that addresses on the playa are inexact even if you *do* know where you're camping ahead of time, and finding a person's camp can become very difficult.
Q: How can friends or family send me a message?
A: Emergency messages should be sent via the emergency contact web form found here: http://911.burningman.com/?pg=contact . Messages may be passed to the Black Rock Rangers who, if they have the extra resources, will attempt to deliver it. We will also make the message available at Playa Info in Center Camp, so if you're awaiting bad news or anticipating emergency messages, check in there each day.
Q: What details should be included in an emergency message?
A: The emergency contact web form will prompt users for details to help find you. Important details include first and last name as well as any known nickname that you might go by around camp. It should also include the name of your theme camp or other affiliation (volunteer team, etc.), and its location if known, along with your vehicle make/license plate and any other unique features that will help with the search (such as, "camp has a 20 foot inflatable alien," etc.).
Q: What can prevent me from getting the message?
A: Just a few of the variables that can get in the way: your camp relocates; nobody's ever in camp when we come to find you; your camp spot is obscured from view by other camps; the 20 foot inflatable alien deflates due to a leak; there are three camps with 20-foot inflatable aliens, and none of the neighbors know anyone named "Damon" because you have been introducing yourself all week as "Doctor Damaged." You get the idea.
In other words, you're heading to the middle of the desert and there is no guarantee that we'll be able to deliver a message in an emergency; it's important to weigh that before you leave home. If you are awaiting news you can actively check in at Playa Info, and in truly dire circumstances you can take the bus into Gerlach to use a pay phone, cellular phone or take advantage of the free wifi coverage there.
GET SHOWERED WITH... WHAT?!? EWWWW, GROSS.
It's nice to shower others with affection, but the non-potable water (that means it's not safe for drinking) in the road watering trucks isn't a safe alternative to a shower. It may contain all sorts of icky things that can make you sick. Resist the temptation to run after the trucks as they pass by! People have also slipped in the mud and seriously hurt themselves. Just bring a solar camping shower instead.
While we're talking about bathing, keep in mind that public showers, baths, and pools are PROHIBITED in Black Rock City since there is no legal way to make them safe or for the authorities to approve them. Showers that are set up for you and your campmates are fine, just as long as they're not open to the public.
YOU'RE SICK OR HURT AT BURNING MAN, NOW WHAT?
Q: What should I do if I get hurt or sick on the playa?
A: We hope, of course, that you won't get sick or hurt...but being radically self-reliant also means remembering to bring a first aid kit (http://bit.ly/Afd8M)and treating yourself or your campmates for minor injuries. Should your illness or injury be more severe than you can manage without help, there are Emergency Services Department (ESD) medical stations near the 3:00 and 9:00 plazas and the Rampart clinic at 5:10 and Esplanade. Look for the red cross on top of the stations at 3:00 and 9:00.
Q: What if they can't manage my problem?
A: If the on-site medical providers feel that you have a medical emergency that requires a higher level of care than can be provided on the playa, you may need to visit a hospital in Reno. Depending on the seriousness of your condition, that can be accomplished by either getting a ride from a friend or being transported by an ambulance or helicopter. Remember to bring your ID, insurance card, cell phone and wallet when you go. Also note that if you get transported by ambulance or helicopter you'll need to arrange for a friend to pick you up after your hospital visit. There are no shuttles from the hospitals back to the playa. However, if you're stranded, Humboldt General Hospital (HGH) EMS will assist you the next time they come to Reno. HGH is in touch with hospitals to coordinate that effort. Seriously though, your friends should pick you up so you can buy ice cream and snacks for your camp. While HGH will help you out if you're stranded, they certainly will not stop for you to go shopping.
Q: Is there a clinic in Gerlach?
A: THE CLINIC THAT USED TO BE IN GERLACH IS NOW CLOSED. Your closest point of care for those coming or going East (depending on which route you take) is Pershing General Hospital in Lovelock, Nevada http://pershinghospital.org/. Westbound your choices are more plentiful with several hospitals in Reno.
Q: Where can I get a prescription filled?
A: It's best to bring adequate medications for your needs. Should you need to get a prescription refilled the closest pharmacies are in Fernley or Reno.
DID YOU KNOW IT COSTS $25,000 IF YOU GET TRANSPORTED OFF PLAYA VIA HELICOPTER?!?
The most expensive ride on the playa is the one you never want to take: an emergency medical helicopter transport to one of the Reno hospitals. Even if you have insurance it still might leave you with a bill for several thousand dollars since most insurance doesn't cover 100% of the cost. Of course it is considerably worse if you have no insurance at all!
Every year, it seems, we hear a story or two of a Burner who gets airlifted off playa only to practically need to be resuscitated again when they receive their bill months later. Given that only an unlucky few get airlifted each year, chances are good you'll never need it, but if you have a complicated pre-existing condition or want to have some extra coverage "just in case," it's worth considering the Flight Plan Membership that Care Flight offers. Their program covers your entire family for $55/year and also applies to other air medical services in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming. Non-Nevada residents are eligible for this program. See their website for all the details and fine print:
RANTING AND RAILING ABOUT STRUCTURAL SAFETY
Since *you* assume all liability for the safety of any structure you construct, here are some important questions you should ask yourself when designing and building a structure at Burning Man:
* Building a platform?
- What's the load capacity?
- How many people can it hold based on the load capacity?
- How will you prevent it from becoming overcrowded?
* Railings are required to be strong enough to be leaned against; how will you accomplish that?
* Have you factored in the high winds conditions that are like on Black Rock Desert for your design?
If you have not fully considered all aspects of your plan from a structural engineering perspective, you have more research to do.
For more details see:
BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL AT THE MAN BURN: GET HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT
Burn night can be chaotic when everyone crowds around the Man. To take the guesswork out of finding help, ESD has created safety contact points outside the Burn circle. There is one on the 3 o'clock side of the Man and another on the 9 o'clock side of the Man. Both of them are along the promenade on the edge of the crowd. Each contact point is marked by a bright blue rotating emergency beacon and both tend to be easily visible from the edge of the crowd.
Each rally point has a host of resources dedicated to it in case there is a need, including Black Rock Rangers, Law Enforcement, ESD Medical, ESD Fire and HGH EMS. Just walk up and ask, and we'll arrange for the right resource to follow you back to where help is needed.
CARRY YOUR ID ON PLAYA
While Black Rock City is a magical place, we still need to carry ID for several good reasons...
1. If you get hurt on playa and are transported while unconscious we can identify you.
2. In case you get arrested and have to prove your identity to law enforcement.
3. If you're lucky enough to look under 21 and want a drink in any camp that serves alcohol.
4. If you are driving a motor vehicle of ANY KIND, you must always carry a valid Driver's License.
YOU REMEMBERED A SPARE KEY, RIGHT?
Every year, Burners lock their keys in their car or lose them -- big bummer, right? Doesn't need to be. One simple step will save you tons of time, hassle and money:
MAKE AN EXTRA KEY and store it someplace secure. Hassle avoided!
Now what if you don't have an extra key? Lockout services are available. Go to Playa Info, or if Playa Info is closed, go to Ranger HQ after-hours.
STRANDED AT A RENO HOSPITAL WITH NOTHING BUT A BACKLESS GOWN?
So you wake up in a hospital bed and a nurse is telling you that you're going to get discharged soon. Unfortunately, the last thing you remember was being on playa. Of course, since it was the playa, you didn't bring your wallet or purse with your money and cell phone. So how do you get back to the playa?
Your friends on the playa of course! In the vast majority of circumstances your friends already know you're in the hospital and are on their way to pick you up. But what if you're stranded? Luckily, our friends at Humboldt General Hospital (HGH) EMS will coordinate with Reno hospitals to get you back to Black Rock City when one of their ambulances return. While this resource may be available it's important to note that HGH EMS is NOT a shuttle service. HGH EMS is generously offering this as a last resort to those who are truly stranded at the hospital. We very much appreciate their help for the few people each year who get stranded by offering this last resort means to get you back to Burning Man.
LOOKING FOR SOMEONE MISSING ON PLAYA?
The only place on playa that serves as a central collection point for emergency messages is Playa Info. The Rangers, ESD, HGH and Law Enforcement pass information to Playa Info so that it serves as the clearinghouse for all such messages, saving you the hassle of having to run around and check all the different places a person may be.
We all know people like to steal the street signs from BRC on their way out of the event. This unhelpful habit causes havoc for the medical crews, fire trucks, Black Rock Rangers and others by making it difficult to find the location of those who need help in an emergency.
We implore everyone to leave the street signs where they are on your way out of the city. Obviously most people are not guilty of stealing street signs, but there will always be those that persist... so we are asking some of you wonderful and awesome Burners to help by adopting an intersection.
A simple way to help everyone...
The idea was inspired some years ago when participants spontaneously improvised street signs to make it possible to navigate the city in absence of the originals. If you see a signpost missing its sign, use some cardboard, a marker, and some duct tape to make a legible replacement. It will not only help your friends find your camp, it will help all of the emergency responders and will be of great help to your fellow citizens of Black Rock City. It's a small thing that makes a big difference. We thank you in advance for your help!
FREQUENCY COORDINATION: ARE YOU USING TWO-WAY RADIOS ON THE PLAYA?
Are you planning on using a two-way radio (greater than 5 watts) for any reason on the playa? The Emergency Services Department coordinates spectrum and systems to avoid interference between various projects on playa and the Burning Man radio infrastructure.
Please note that in general ESD does not coordinate AM or FM broadcast radio, WiFi, HAM, FRS (aka Talkabouts), GMRS, CB, or RC bands. However if you are planning a high power radio application in any of these bands please let us know so we can isolate your signal in case of interference.
Please contact ESD Communications at http://911.burningman.com/?pg=contact if you have questions or to register your frequency request.
"911" SERVICE IN BLACK ROCK CITY, NOW WITH ART SUPPORT!
By now most know that there is very limited cell phone service in the area surrounding Gerlach. If you're lucky enough to have a signal in Black Rock City please do not call 911 for problems within the event site. The dispatch center you would eventually reach doesn't manage the available resources on playa. It's far faster to flag down a Ranger or send someone to fetch help at a Ranger Outpost or ESD Station. That said, there is a way to directly call for help since ESD's on-site emergency dispatch monitors a designated emergency channel on the license-free MURS (Multi User Radio Service) radio band.
MURS is a service similar to FRS (Family Radio Service, the frequencies that Motorola Talkabouts and similar inexpensive radios use). FRS channels are extremely overcrowded and they're used by thousands of participants during the event. FRS radios are also not powerful enough to effectively communicate throughout Black Rock City. MURS, in contrast, is currently not in common usage and operates at a higher power output so it can communicate across the entire playa.
We appreciate that participants respect that this "911" channel on MURS will be used for emergencies only.
***New for 2013 is that Art projects will be able to use their MURS radio to call Art Support Services directly, saving them the hassle of having to go all the way to the ARTery in person to follow up on issues.
You will need to purchase your own MURS radio to contact ESD 911 or Art Support Services, but the other three MURS channels can also be used just like FRS radios for other purposes. Large camps or villages might also choose to make one part of their group planning efforts and store it in a public place for emergency use.
Reasons to choose MURS:
* If you're part of a large theme camp it's a good investment to have a MURS radio around to call ESD emergency dispatch for your group, especially if you have members who have known health issues or the risk of injury is of special concern.
* Large art projects working out on the open playa will be able to get help faster.
* Camps that are on the outer-rings of the city are far from a Emergency Services station don't have to send runners for help when an emergency arises.
* The other 3 open channels on MURS can be a great alternative to the overcrowded FRS channels, especially if your camp has a Mutant Vehicle or event-wide project they want to coordinate.
* It's the only way for the public to contact Black Rock City's emergency dispatch.
To call Art Support Services on a MURS radio: Set your MURS radio to channel 4 (154.570 MHz, CTCSS/PL 97.4).
To call 911 on a MURS radio: Set your MURS radio to channel 5 (154.600 MHz, CTCSS/PL 97.4) to reach the Black Rock City Emergency Services Dispatch.
PLEASE NOTE: Each brand has its own labeling system so please refer to your user manual to see how CTCSS/PL 97.4 is labeled. Using any other "privacy codes" on channel 5 will interfere with 911. Instead limit your personal use to channels 1-3.
PROTIP: Program your radio at home where you can look up more info on how to do so on the internet.
FOR ALL MURS USERS: We ask that all Burning Man participants respect that channel 4 & 5 will be used for official use only. While the other MURS channels are fine for personal use we want to stress that channel 5 on MURS please be kept open for emergencies and not used for any other purpose.
An example of a few MURS radio models:
Dakota Alert MURS portable (works similar to common FRS radios, with selectable channel and code on the display) http://bit.ly/bmgDqI Motorola MURS portable http://bit.ly/16tBhaJ (this vendor will program the radio for you upon request)
We recommend you search online for the best price for whatever model radio you choose to buy.
Or if you don't want to buy a radio for this purpose you can contact your local two way radio rental service in your area and inquire about renting a VHF radio for this purpose (and they would program it for you as part of the rental, making configuring the radio hassle free if you're not tech savvy).
If you have further questions, please contact us for more information at: http://911.burningman.com/?pg=contact
Check out the Burning Man website more information on health and safety related issues. There are all kinds of topics covered, including pregnancy, rebar safety, first-aid kits and fuel storage: http://bit.ly/12cFVE
Or contact the Emergency Services Department if you have any questions that are not answered here or on our website: http://911.burningman.com/?pg=contact
NOW TWEET THIS!
In addition to Burning Man's Twitter account and Facebook page, ESD has its own that it uses to communicate additional health and safety information. Check 'em out:
BLACK ROCK RANGERS
In addition to the Emergency Services Department, the Black Rock Rangers play an important role in our community safety.
The Black Rock Rangers are a volunteer organization dedicated to the safety of the citizens of Black Rock City and its environs. The Rangers are a broad cross-section of the Burning Man community who volunteer some of their time as non-confrontational community mediators. They are empowered by the community and the Burning Man board to address safety concerns, mediate disputes and resolve conflicts when they cannot be resolved by the persons involved.
Rangers are available to any Black Rock citizen who needs their help and can be found patrolling the city, in the area around the base of the Man, at Ranger HQ near Center Camp, and at the Ranger Outposts located in the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock plazas, directly across from the ESD stations. Rangers can be identified by their khaki-colored costumes with a Black Rock Ranger logo on the back.
Rangers rely on the Burning Man community to help them do their jobs; there's a lot more participants than there are Rangers and you, too, are the eyes and ears of safety in Black Rock City. Here's a few FAQs on accessing the Rangers as a resource (and ways that you can help):
Q: What should you do if you lose your child in Black Rock City?
A: Parents who have become separated from their child should find a Ranger (either at a Ranger Outpost, Ranger HQ, or a pair patrolling the city), who will report the child as missing. That information then goes out to all the Rangers patrolling Black Rock City.
Q: What should you do if you find a child who can't find their parents?
A: Ask the child to come with you and a friend to a Ranger Outpost or Ranger HQ, and once you get there, the Rangers will relay the information about the child and the parents to all the Rangers patrolling Black Rock City (and probably offer to give you a big hug for helping out!).
Q: What if I'm having a dispute with a neighbor or a campmate that I can't resolve?
A: The Rangers are happy to listen to everyone involved in a difficult situation and will work to help you come to a solution that you can live with for a week in the desert. A solution doesn't always mean everyone involved is going to get exactly what they wanted when they started looking for a solution, but Rangers will work to help prevent a conflict to prevent it from escalating and find a workable solution.
THE FAMILY UNIFICATION NETWORK
Kids want to have FUN! The Family Unification Network that is. In instances of a lost child or separation, FUN helps to reunite children with parents faster.
Here's how it works: parents and children register together at Ranger Headquarters in Center Camp. After providing simple identifying information, children will receive a unique wristband with a serial number, which will identify the child, parent or guardian, and camp location. And that's it! Simple!
Should your child become separated from you, he or she just needs to find a Ranger. The wristband will facilitate a speedy reunion.
Registration is open daily at Ranger Headquarters before noon and after 2pm.
****Staff and volunteers with families are strongly encouraged to register their children in support of this program.****
The Burning Man Regional Network - connect with Burners in your
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Soundtrack for this JRS: Spoon, Cracker